Researcher explores what causes maps to go viral on the web
As the 2016 presidential election was heating up, the statistical news website FiveThirtyEight released a projection map suggesting the distribution of votes if only women voted.
The map, sent out in a tweet by FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, quickly went viral on social media and was viewed millions of times. That viral cartography event, and what quickly followed, is the subject of research conducted by Anthony Robinson, assistant professor of geography at Penn State.
The map spawned a series of copycat maps, many of which also went viral. They range from serious offshoots along racial lines, “What if Only People of Color Voted,” to silly, “What if Only Goats Voted,” to the hard-to-verify, “What if Only Taxpayers Voted.”